By Jude Genereaux
A new addition to expansive surrounding property of Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik sits on the southern side of its Stabbur Beer Garden, bookending what has lately become a natural wood campus of Scandinavian-inspired architecture. The attractive new building, called SKÅL, carries the same attention to detail and Nordic character as the business’s original log restaurant, but without grass-chomping goats on its green sod roof. In addition, the building’s Norwegian-inspired façade with carved front posts are by the same talented folk artist who created Stabbur’s traditional designs.
The original boutique (Swedish: butik) located in Al Johnson’s main restaurant continues in operation, featuring classic Scandinavian items, some items enhanced with the decorative Norwegian art known as rosemaling, plus traditional wood candelabras, Nordic-style clothing, unique silver jewelry and carved treasures. SKÅL also offers a unique line of Nordic-sourced and other products, chosen to spotlight the clean lines and functional spirit in modern housewares and home decorating accessories.
The new store’s interior has the light and airy feeling of modern Scandinavian design. Beautiful vases and baskets filled with Danish bouquets of felt flowers immediately greet visitors. Candles and dinnerware show off Finnish-inspired crafts. Swedish goods like wool textiles from far northern Sweden abound at SKÅL, as do products from Wisconsin and Minnesota artisans who focus on Nordic-style designs. Check out beautiful textiles from Steller Handcrafted Goods, plus notecards, prints and fabric items by Minneapolis artist Cindy Lindgren, who traffics in the essence of Scandinavia-inspired design.
Stabbur fans will find shirts, hats and other branded items feature the beer garden’s recognizable goat logo, as well as barware and other souvenirs. The building’s fresh and spacious construction faces Sister Bay’s village park, which offers renowned sunsets in the near distance plus views of the surrounding bay. Extended hours at the new shop welcome evening guests. SKÅL is expected to be in full operation by early June.
Much like venturing into Al Johnson’s has become a de rigeur experience for Door County visitors, you can expect the new SKÅL to be its own lovely sojourn into “the Scandinavia of the imagination.”